Clarkson Potter Team
Aaron Wehner is Executive Vice President of Crown Publishing and Publisher of Clarkson Potter and Ten Speed Press. He has been with the group since 1997, serving as editor, editorial director, and associate publisher of Ten Speed before taking over as publisher in 2008. After Ten Speed was acquired by Random House in 2009, he led the integration of the imprint into Crown and took on the additional role of publisher of Clarkson Potter and Harmony Books in 2014, and of Rodale Books in 2018. Aaron oversees the publishing programs of such luminaries and brands as Ina Garten, Yotam Ottolenghi, Martha Stewart, The Home Edit, Marie Kondo, Death & Co, and Dungeons & Dragons. As co-lead of Crown Publishing, he works closely with the Crown team to shape ambitious, cross-imprint, and multi-book collaborations with the group’s incredible roster of authors.
Francis Lam, Vice President, Editor-in-Chief, acquires cookbooks with strong senses of story and deep appreciation of craft. His books include James Beard Award–winning titles such as Victuals by Ronni Lundy; Jubilee by Toni Tipton-Martin; and Eat a Little Better by Sam Kass, as well as New York Times bestsellers by Chrissy Teigen, David Chang, Christina Tosi, Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard, Carla Lalli Music, and Tieghan Gerard. Among his forthcoming titles are a cookbook by Dr. Jessica B. Harris that will describe the braiding of Indigenous, European, and African cultures that created American cuisine; a multigenerational memoir-cookbook by Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson; and a groundbreaking cookbook of the Indigenous food cultures of what is now known as North America by Sean Sherman. The host of the public radio show and podcast The Splendid Table, Francis has also written for numerous publications. He is the recipient of six James Beard Awards and six IACP awards for his writing.
Jill Flaxman is Senior Vice President, Deputy Publisher of Clarkson Potter, Ten Speed Press, Harmony Books, and Rodale Books, and Publishing Director, Potter Gift. Prior to this role, she was the Director of Publishing Operations for the Crown Publishing Group for 6 years, preceded by 3 years as Executive Director of Marketing for the group and 6 years as Group Sales Director. She has worked on bestselling books from authors such as Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, George W. Bush, Ina Garten, Gillian Flynn, Deepak Chopra, Yotam Ottolenghi, and Marie Kondo, among others.
Angelin Adams, Editorial Director of Design, Culture, and Gift, acquires and develops lifestyle books and paper products, such as decks, journals, and games. Her authors and projects include The New York Times Book Review, The Home Edit, Queer Eye’s Bobby Berk, Ethan and Elizabeth Finkelstein of Cheap Old Houses, Amber Lewis, Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason of AphroChic, Meg Quinn of The Cheese Board Deck, Wizards of the Coast, and Michelle Obama’s Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice. She was also the cowriter of the hit design book Styled by Emily Henderson. Angelin is interested in books that celebrate a culture, showcase an illustrated history, or give ideas for stylish living and home design. And she always loves a good brainstorm to develop gift products based on the zeitgeist, or successful self-help and business titles.
Raquel Pelzel, Editorial Director of Cooking, acquires cookbooks with a strong narrative focus and a unique point of view. Raquel’s list includes cookbooks from culinary icons such as Ina Garten, Melissa Clark, and Giada De Laurentiis, as well as stars including Claire Saffitz, Rodney Scott, Eric Kim, and the Leung family of The Woks of Life. She enjoys publishing across the wide spectrum of culinary perspectives, from family-focused to celebrity/lifestyle, memoir-driven, or social justice-minded. Her forthcoming list includes cookbooks by supermodel-activist Gisele Bündchen, TikTok chef Jon Kung, and the chefs of World Central Kitchen. Raquel has written four cookbooks of her own and has coauthored more than 20 others with chefs and culinary personalities. Her work has received numerous James Beard and IACP awards and nominations.
Jennifer Sit, , Executive Editor, acquires cooking- and drinks-focused books, with a particular interest in next-generation authorities—authors with deep expertise, a generosity of spirit, and unique, strong voices. Her books and authors include New York Times bestsellers, such as Molly Baz’s Cook This Book, Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad’s Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love, Maurizio Leo’s The Perfect Loaf, Gina Homolka’s Skinnytaste Meal Prep, and Bobby Flay’s Bobby at Home, along with Ali Slagle, Mimi Thorisson, and Yossy Arefi’s Snacking Cakes. She has a passion for the cocktail and wine space and has worked on Aldo Sohm and Christine Muhlke’s Wine Simple, Julia Momosé’s James Beard Award–winning The Way of the Cocktail, Toby Maloney’s The Bartender’s Manifesto, and Natasha David’s Drink Lightly. Her forthcoming projects include cookbooks from Nina Compton, Roy Choi, Eric Adjepong, Carolina Gelen, and Monique Volz of The Ambitious Kitchen.
Porscha Burke, Director, Strategic Projects and Senior Editor-at-Large, acquires and develops illustrated projects rooted in Black culture—especially hip-hop, spirituality, and literature. Since joining Random House in 2004, she has been part of the division leadership team and acquired works by Dr. Maya Angelou, Jon Meacham, Candice Benbow, Kathy Iandoli, Queen Afua, Rev. Wheeler Parker Jr. and Christopher Benson, Sean Kantrowitz, Connie Briscoe and Milton Washington, Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, and Rhonda Joy McLean, among others. Porscha curated Rainbow in the Cloud: The Wisdom and Spirit of Maya Angelou and spearheaded the publication of new editions of The Autobiography of Malcolm X and The Black Book, originally edited by Toni Morrison. Her recent editorial work includes The Questions Hip-Hop Trivia; The Hip-Hop Queens Oracle Deck; Black Food, edited by Bryant Terry; What Is God Like? by Rachel Held Evans and Matthew Paul Turner; and Christian gift products for the Ink & Willow imprint, including The Get It Together Planner.
Susan Roxborough, Senior Editor, has interests and expertise that range from broad, narrative-driven cookbooks to deep dives into single subjects. She has collaborated with both James Beard Award–winning chefs and popular social media creators, demonstrating her ability to appeal to a wide audience. Her authors and books include Martha Stewart, Justine Doiron, Mary Berry, and Sally McKenney of the Sally’s Baking Addiction blog, along with Buzzfeed’s Tasty series, Lisa Bryan’s Downshiftology Healthy Meal Prep, The Maison Premiere Almanac, and Natasha Kravchuk’s Natasha’s Kitchen.
Deanne Katz, Editor, acquires and edits design-forward lifestyle books and illustrated paper products, including journals, decks, puzzles, and games. Her authors and projects include Rachel Ignotofsky’s What’s Inside a Flower Puzzle, Deepak Chopra’s Q&A a Day for Everyday Enlightenment, The Emily Post Institute’s Mind Your Manners Trivia, Françoise Weeks’ Wonder of the Woodlands, and The Blueberries for Sal Cookbook, published with the estate of Robert McCloskey. She also works on licensed gift products with brands including The New York Botanical Gardens, Eric Carle, Wizards of the Coast, and Outlander. Deanne is particularly interested in books about beautiful living as well as quirky and unusual paper products, spirituality and self-help decks, and literary games.
Sahara Clements, Editor, acquires, develops, and edits visually stunning books and gift products in the culture, lifestyle, and wellness spaces. With a strong focus on inclusivity and accessibility, each of Sahara’s projects reflect the diversity and ever-changing passions of readers around the world. Her authors include world-renowned actress Kat Graham, racial wellness visionary Jacquelyn Ogorchukwu Iyamah, WE THE URBAN founder Willie Greene, BIPOC-focused mindfulness expert Zee Clarke, and writer and photographer Christine Chitnis, among others. She has also developed licensed books and gift products with Disney, Marvel Studios, NBCUniversal, HBO, and The New York Times. From cultural retrospectives to illustrated histories to unique approaches to wellness and self-care, Sahara is interested in books and products that celebrate underrepresented stories and voices.
Sara Neville, Editor, acquires and edits design-forward and playful gift books, paper products, and lifestyle books. With a background in retail, buying books and stationery for Urban Outfitters—where she collaborated with artists Adam J. Kurtz, Tuesday Bassen, and Lisa Frank, among others—she is passionate about product development and trend research. Her authors and projects include Alex Testere’s Please Grow, Erin Morgenstern’s The Phantomwise Tarot, Kristen Griffith-VanderYacht’s Flower Love, Malaka Gharib, Caitlin Keegan, Kim Krans, Oliver Jeffers, Electric Literature, iO Tillett Wright, and Yoshi Yoshitani. She also edited Ibram X. Kendi’s Be Antiracist journal, The Antiracist Deck, and The (Young) Antiracist’s Workbook. Sara is especially interested in illustrated gift books and products focused on pop culture, humor, and everything self-care from mental health to mysticism.
Bianca Cruz, Editorial Assistant, supports Editorial Director Raquel Pelzel and Executive Editor Jennifer Sit. Bianca graduated from Hunter College in New York City with a bachelor’s degree in English Language Arts and holds a degree in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education where she received honors. She has interned at Oxford University Press and has attended the Columbia Publishing Course.
Darian Keels, Editorial Assistant, studied Culinary Arts and Literature at the University of Montana. She supports Clarkson Potter’s Editor-in-Chief, Francis Lam, in acquiring and developing cookbooks that focus on distinct authors, culinary traditions, and storytelling. Cookbooks she has assisted on include Christina Tosi’s All About Cookies, Tieghan Gerard’s Half Baked Harvest Every Day, and Hannah Che’s The Vegan Chinese Kitchen. She also assists Angelin Adams, Editorial Director of Design, Culture, and Gift, across Potter’s expansive list of illustrated design and lifestyle books and unique gift products, focusing primarily on projects in partnership with Wizards of the Coast. Her passion for food, writing, and culture is emboldened by the titles she works on at Clarkson Potter, and she is particularly interested in sharing the stories of underrepresented voices through foodways.